Educating to fraternal humanism to build a civilization of love
More than 550 delegates from 80 countries from around the world attended the Congress of the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC) in New York from June 5 to 8, 2019.
The theme of this Congress “Educatio Si” has been approved by the Congregation for Catholic Education. It was strongly focused on “Laudato Si” (the second encyclical letter of Pope Francis) and on the contribution of the Catholic schools of the world to educate to solidarity, humanism and the safeguarding of the common house as it was designed by the United Nations “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDG), especially Nb 4 “Quality Education”. Therefore, Educatio Si was the symbol of the strong commitment of the OIEC towards the achievement of education for all, associated to God’s word.
The main work in this Congress was done in the nine labs in the three languages, French, English and Spanish. The more than 50 speakers presented methods and projects of the various countries that can be used to create innovations, which will be easy for schools to experiment with.
The International Education Network PILGRIM was invited to present the main idea and experiences of Sustainability & Spirituality, as summarised in the more than 1200 projects in the last 15 years in Austria. PILGRIM could explain the work in Lab 5 “For a quality education, inspired by the Gospel and oriented towards the safeguarding of the Common House (Laudato Si)”.
“That the earth can breathe again – PILGRIM: Sustainability & Spirituality – A Model for Education for Our Common House” was the title of PILGRIM’s presentation in this Lab 5. So the main idea was to get through education a deeper insight view of creation and also to get a personal relation to every living creature in the world. This should be the main step for the start to change the personal life-style for sustainability. It was an invitation to become aware of the reality of climatic and ecological dysfunctions and to act responsibly for the safeguarding of the common house.
The Council of GPENreformation participated in the World Congress via video: Council member Birgit Sendler Koschel greeted all participants and thanked them for their great commitment to good, worldwide Christian education. OIEC and GPENreformation are linked in their common mission to bring young people closer to the hope of Jesus Christ, to provide them with high-quality education and to turn schools in all countries into lights of hope and gardens of peace – close ecumenical cooperation is therefore of great importance. The OIEC Council replied immediately after the congress: A joint meeting of both network councils should be the first step towards a sustainable cooperation for good Christian education.